Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Greater Understanding- Orgasm (Part 1)

If discussion of sexuality offends you, please skip this post.

This is a three-part series. Although over the next year I plan to write similar articles here and there, I have no intention of turning this into a dedicated 'sex blog'. But if the subject of sexuality interests you, I hope you'll get something from these posts. Numbers in (red) refer to articles or books from which I’ve drawn information or to back up my own writing.

                          The Wonder Of It All

Ask what subject intrigues me more than anything and my answer will always be female orgasm, hands down. It's the quintessential mystery to me, and there are few things I romanticize more. I see it as a wondrously complex symphony; an emotional burst of colours surfing glowing neon brain waves on an ocean of raw sexual pleasure. Everything about female orgasm completely and utterly amazes me.

I've learned a lot since my late teens through what I've read, from personal experience and through women I've spoken with (nothing takes the place of personal accounts). I prefer to keep my conversations private, but I will share this quote that I particularly like from "Why Women Have Sex".  Which in my opinion is a must-read...

"Aching of the vaginal regions and trembling in the thighs. Every muscle in the body tightens and then a huge amount of energy is released. It feel like it comes from between my legs and ascends up my spine, absolutely zapping my brain. Oftentimes I hold my breath, my eyes shut tight, and colors appear behind my eyelids. Immediately afterward I'm very photosensitive, giddily happy, tingly, relieved, and energized."
                                                                      -heterosexual woman, age 24 (1)     

How can a guy not be captivated by this?  :)


Female orgasm comes in different forms; clitoral, vaginal, and (less frequently), anal. Freud determined that clitoral orgasms were "infantile", that the vagina is the centre of a "mature" woman's sexual response. Put another way, a woman should be able to reach orgasm without ANY clitoral stimulation since the penis is central to every woman's sexual pleasure. As a result for decades following, millions of women felt they were sexually dysfunctional (another reason many of Freud's findings piss me off). As several women I’ve spoken to have attested, there’s no shortage of pleasure to be had without a man around.

I'm not going to quote statistics too much in this series. I've seen the results of studies by Masters and Johnson, Shere Hite, Meston and Buss, and Kinsey and their findings are often conflicting. It's generally accepted though that more women reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation than intercourse. And while orgasm might be felt in different areas, I'm seeing it more commonly argued today that the idea of vaginal orgasm is a myth, that "the vagina itself is considered to have no mechanism to stimulate pleasure or orgasm for women". (2)

                  The “Inside” Story  (okay, bad pun)

The clitoris consists of much more beneath the surface than just the tip we're used to seeing. It surrounds the vagina similar to a horseshoe with roots that extend along the vaginal lips and back to the anus. Australian urologist Dr. Helen O’Connell said, “The vaginal wall is, in fact, the clitoris." Although the tip isn't in contact during penetration, the urethral sponge (argued by some to also be part of the clitoris) is. (2)

The G-Spot is part of this sponge, a small area of erectile tissue one to three inches inside the front vaginal wall between the opening and the urethra. The size of this spot varies considerably from person to person. These orgasms are sometimes referred to as “vaginal,” because they result from internal stimulation. The Skene's glands are contained within the urethral sponge and are responsible for female ejaculation. Not everyone believes the G-Spot and female ejaculation exist; I'll take a look at this in Part Two. Stay tuned!

Next: The Physical Experience

(1) "Why Women Have Sex"by Cindy M. Meston, Ph.D. and David M. Buss, Ph.D. 2009
(2) "The Mysterious Female Orgasm: Myths and Misconceptions" by J. Blondie, South Florida Chronicle May 20, 2010 
Photo credit here.  "Visual Orgasm-blue" by ChrisCold 2008-2010